Marsha T. Oakley, RN, BSN spends her busy days providing services to the patients at the Hoffberer Breast Center at Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore City, Maryland. She provides support and counseling to the patients receiving treatment at the center. From the first visit to the Breast Center to the last, patients have access to patient navigator services
Having received her nursing degree at Indiana University - Bloomington, Oakley began her nursing career 45 years ago providing care to women and infants. At the age of 38, Oakley experienced breast cancer - a life changing event. For the past 17 years, she has dedicated her nursing care to breast cancer patients at Mercy.
She provides counseling, support and advice to patients. She answers questions that patient have. They may ask about "staging" -- is there cancer Stage 1, 2, 3 or 4 and what does that mean. They often ask about the need for "clean edges" for the tissue mass removed during surgery and what does it mean to receive a report of "positive edges." Oakley can answer those questions and soothe the patient's fears.
She meets with the patient, but often includes the caregiver and/or the family members, pointing out that cancer impacts the entire family unit.e
Are you on a cancer journey? Your first step may have been to read these articles. The next step might be diagnosis, then an appointment with a breast cancer surgeon. Surely the next step will be an appointment with a nurse or patient navigator.
May your journey be successful!